Key stage 1 PHSE curriculum: Becoming aware of Feelings: selfishness and generosity, for age 6-9


Fay and The Birthday Present


Fay was invited to her best friend’s party. Sally lived down the road at number 42 Dove Terrace. It was her birthday. Fay’s mum said “What do you think Sally would like for her birthday from you?”

 Fay said “I don’t have any money, I can’t buy Sally a present.”

 “What about the pocket money you’ve been saving in your special tin?”

 “Oh that’s for me, it’s not for other people!”

 “Oh I see. Did your friends bring you presents when they came to your party?”

“Yes but I think their mums paid for them.”

“How do you know that?”

“Oh, they must have done. They wouldn’t be spending their own money on me.”

“Oh so you’re just guessing then.”

“Well, it’s hard to save money because I always want to spend it on sweets. You don’t let me. You say I need to save up to get something really good. How can I get something really good if I’m always spending it on other people?

 “Always? How many presents have you bought for other people?”

“I haven’t bought presents for anyone.”

“Well, you’re going to learn about how nice it feels to be generous today – it’s nice to give other people presents. It shows them how much you really like them. You like Sally, don’t you?”

“Oh yes, she is my very best friend.”

“Well just think how nice it would be to go shopping and to choose something you know she would really like.”

Suddenly Fay’s eyes lit up. “Oh yes it would be good wouldn’t it? I could get her one of those special hulahoops that make a buzzy noise when they go round!”

Fay felt different – a warm feeling came over her. She felt excited for her friend because she knew she would enjoy the gift and Fay could say “I bought this for you myself,” and she would be showing Sally how much she liked her.

 Fay’s mum smiled.  “I see you got the idea about what giving presents is really for. It makes two people happy – the giver and the one who gets the presents.  People who don’t like giving presents don’t get the fun out of the giving and don’t give anyone else any fun either. That’s no way to be a friend is it?”

“But what about people who don’t have any money to spend? Are they sad because they can’t give presents?”

“No, they don’t need to be sad, because you can always think of something nice to do or to make for someone else.  As long as we aren’t selfish our friends will be happy with us, whether we are able to give them things or not.”

Fay bought a buzzing hulahoop for Sally.  She wrapped it in paper which had smiley faces all over it. The two girls spent a lot of time happily sharing the present.

the birthday present



  1. Does this remind you of anything in your life?
  2. Do you save your pocket money?
  3. Have you ever bought presents for other people with your pocket money?
  4. Do your parents always buy presents for your friends?
  5. If you give your friend at present that you have bought do you feel any different when you are giving it to them?
  6. Can you think of a word which is used about people who only do things for themselves and never think of other people?
  7. Can you think of a word which is used about people who are happy to give their time or their money to other people?

This story is an ideal subject for children to act out in class.  They will quickly understand the points being made and will enjoy making up their own improvisations and variations.